Just north of the capital city of Bridgetown on the west coast of Barbados is Speightstown, the second largest town on the island. Tourists flock to this town for the shopping and cultural attractions, and it also serves as the only other port of entry on the island. This means, outside of Bridgetown, Speightstown is the only other place tourists can receive customs and immigrations clearance. Take this under consideration as you begin to plan your island getaway.
Speightstown is unique in Barbados because it is one of only two towns on the island that can be utilized as a port of entry. If you are planning on flying or taking a cruise to Barbados, you'll have to enter in the capital city of Bridgetown, however, if you're sailing you can check in right in Speightstown.
Just as there are several options for entry into Speightstown, tourists will have a choice to make with regards to how they'll get around town once they arrive. The top choice is to rent a car, however, the public transportation system is great here, and buses are a very valid option. Taxis fill the gap, allowing tourists to get where they need to go directly without having need to driver themselves.
If flying, you will likely come into the main airport on the island known as(BGI) and is one of the most modern facilities in the Caribbean. Flying in is just part of the journey though, as the airport is located about 20 miles aways from Speightstown. Luckily, you should have no problem finding rental cars or taxis at the airport.
...rough waters coming off the Atlantic...
Fortunately for anyone visiting Speightstown, it is one of only two areas in Barbados that is an international port of call, meaning you can deal with all the immigration and customs paperwork at the main Speightstown dock:. If you do plan on sailing to Barbados, just keep in mind that it is not surrounded by peaceful Caribbean waters, but by rough waters coming off the Atlantic.
With every year that passes, Caribbean cruises become more and more popular, and Barbados is a regular on the itinerary of most major cruise lines. Because the island is so small, you can easily sail into the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal, then drive or take a taxi or a bus to any spot on the island that you'd like to explore, including Speightstown.
The most important things to know about renting a car in Speightstown are more about driving rules and regulations than they are about the rental process. Renting a car in town is probably very much similar to what you'd experience renting a car in your home town, while driving is more likely to differ. For example, traffic moves on the left side of the road and speed limits are posted in kilometers per hour rather than miles per hour. Another difference is that if a driver honks at you it is meant to be a friendly greeting, rather than an act of road rage. Everything you need to know both about renting a vehicle and driving it is available in our guide to Speightstown Rental Cars.
If you want to avoid renting a car, and don't want to rely on the public bus system at all times, taxis in Speightstown serve as that happy medium. You can call for a cab any time of the day or night (though the price will go up after midnight and before six in the morning), and they will take you directly where you need to go with a smile on their face. The biggest complaint about taxis on the island is that the rates are expensive, but when you take into account the cost of gas and the wear and tear on the vehicle, you will begin to understand the necessity. Don't let the prices keep you from offering your driver the tip her or she deserves, (ususally fifteen percent) and if you really get along, ask him to pick you up at a later time for a tour of the island. Learn more here.
Bus travel is not ideal everywhere in the Caribbean, but Speightstown is one of the exceptions. One of two main terminals on Barbados is located here, which allows those staying in town access to buses that will get them around locally, as well as provide transportation to some of other major destinations. You'll also find this to be the most cost effective mode of transport the island has to offer.
As one of the island's main ports of entry, Speightstown offers the most direct transportation options in Barbados outside of the capital city of Bridgetown. This is great for tourists who like to have plenty of choices available to them, but others might find it overwhelming. A small amount of research should easily help you to narrow it down to exactly the right means of getting to and around this city for you and your group.
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